AUTHOR DEBUTS EXCITING URBAN FANTASY
ADVENTURE THE RAMPART GUARDS
Middle grade and young adult series inspired by an episode of “Bones.”
Many legendary creatures are thought to exist across all continents; Bigfoot, The Loch Ness Monster, Centaurs. But, it was the chupacabra in an episode of hit television seriesBones that inspired debut author Wendy Terrien to write The Rampart Guards (February 26, 2016).
In the first installment of the urban fantasy series,Jason Lex’smom disappears,and his family moves to a small town where he has no fun, no friends and no life. When he’s chased by weird flying creatures that only he can see, Jason thinks he’s really losing it. Stunned to learn that cryptids like Skyfish, Kappa and the Mongolian Death Worm aren’t just stories on the Internet, Jason also learns that someone – or some thing- is trying to destroy the invisible shield that keeps these creatures hidden and protects the human race from their threatening force. Jason is faced with a difficult decision in the fight to save those he loves: who lives, and who dies?
The series will continue with three more books. Terrien plans to simultaneously release book two in two parts-telling different stories, but told concurrently-and will conclude the trilogy with the final chapter told from the point of view of two of her main characters.
Terrien’s fun-filled adventure series is enchanting, and the author hopes by diving more into the topic of cryptids, her middle grade and young adult readers will also be inspired to do more research themselves on the existence of such fantastic creatures.
Wendy Terrien has been writing stories since she was in grade school. Her debut novel The Rampart Guards (February 26,2016) is the first in her intriguing urban fantasy series. Inspired by an episode of Bones that suspected a killer to be a fabled chupacabra, Wendy was fascinated and dove into research about cryptozoology – the study of animals that may or may not exist, or cryptids. Pouring over stories, videos and photographs of creatures others had seen all over the world, Wendy developed her own story to share with middle grade, young adult and grown-up readers.
Raised in Salt Lake City, Wendy graduated from the University of Utah and soon transplanted to Colorado where she completed her MBA at the University of Denver. Having applied her marketing expertise to the financial and network security industries, it wasn’t until a career coach stepped in that she fully immersed herself in her passion for writing. Wendy began attending writers conferences, workshops and retreats.
She regularly participates in two critique groups and is the Secretary of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers and a member of Pikes Peak Writers and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. In 2014, she was a finalist in the San Francisco Writer’s Contest and in March, will release a novella in the anthology Tick Tock: Seven Tales of Time.
Wendy lives in Colorado with her husband Kevin and their three dogs: Maggie, Shea and Boon. All three of her dogs are rescues and Wendy is passionate about promoting shelter adoptions. If you’re ever in Colorado, you may even be able to spot her by her “Adopt a Shelter Pet” license plates.
The Rampart Guards
Urban Fantasy, Young Adult, Middle Grade
February 26, 2016
After his mom disappears, Jason Lex and his family move to a small town where he has no friends, no fun, no life. Things get worse when he’s chased by weird flying creatures that only he can see—Jason thinks he’s losing it.
But when Jason discovers new information about his family, he’s stunned to learn that creatures like Skyfish, Kappa, and the Mongolian Death Worm aren’t just stories on the Internet—they’re real and they live unseen alongside the human race. Many of these creatures naturally emit energy capable of incinerating humans. An invisible shield keeps these creatures hidden and protects the human race from their threatening force, but someone, or something, is trying to destroy it.
Unsure who he can trust, Jason is drawn into the fight to save the people closest to him, and he finds help in surprising places. Confronted with loss, uncertainty, and a devastating betrayal, Jason must make a gut-wrenching decision:
Who lives, and who dies.
Q&A with Wendy Terrien
Your story really appeals to readers of all ages.Can you tell me the story behind the idea for The Rampart Guards?
I was watching an episode of the televisionshow Bones,and the perceived killer was a chupacabra. I thought, “What is a chupacabra?” Then the main character in the show mentioned cryptozoology, and I was locked in. The whole thing fascinated me. I’d heard of Bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster,of course, but soon discovered there are many more supposed creatures out there, known as cryptids, and that the study of creatures that may or may not exist is known as cryptozoology. My imagination really zipped along after that, and one “what if” question after another popped into my head.
What do you think will surprise readers most about The Rampart Guards?
Every cryptid that appears in the book actually exists! At least on the Internet. There are numerous sites that follow and discuss the likelihood that certain creatures exist, and many share photos, videos, historical stories, etc. So if a reader is intrigued by any or all of the cryptids in The Rampart Guards, they can Google that cryptid and then make the decision for themselves if that particular creature does or does not exist.
What’s your goal when you’re writing for your readers?
I hope my book lights up their imagination! I want to write stories that are fun to read, that maybe take the reader out of their real world for a while and entertain them, maybe even delight them. I hope they feel the same way about the story as I do regarding the cryptids–who says they don’t really exist? Maybe there really is a shield. Maybe there are Skyfish zooming around us on a regular basis….I mean, there are people that certainly believe that they do. It’s so much fun to let your imagination run free for a bit and see where it takes you – it’s energizing!
What do you find most rewarding in your day-to-day life?
I love using my optimism for good. When I hear any negative self-talk from friends, I find the silver lining and spin that comment around on its ears. In fact, it’s not just a silver lining. I simply remind them of the truth about how fantastic they really are, and that’s never hard to do. So often, we talk ourselves down and there’s no goodreasonfor that. Focus on the positive! It’s highly likely you have a ton more good stuff going on than bad. I also love the dogs we share our life with: Maggie, Shea, and Boon. They’re all rescues. Maggie, we found as a puppy in the middle-of-nowhere Wyoming. She was skin and bones, and she had scabs down her side, probably from being thrown out of a moving car. We nursed her through that and parvo, and today, she’s our black beauty. Shea came to us through the Boulder Humane Society after she’d been transferred from Kansas. Her mom was a stray and was going to be euthanized until they saw how far along she was in her pregnancy. A kind soul fostered her and the puppies until they could all be transferred to Colorado where they had a better chance at adoption. And I’m happy to say they all found homes. Shea is our mighty dog. And Boon is a sweetheart we adopted from a shelter in Arizona where my mom was living at the time. He’d been there nearly a year, likely because he looks like he may have some pitbull in him. He’s as sweet as sweet can be, though and we’re lucky to have him. Boon’s personality and the misinformation about the pitbull breed inspired me to make Finn—a very cool canine character in The Rampart Guards — a pit bull.
How has your journey into writing helped you grow as an author?
I’d considered myself to be a good writer and thought I was well prepared to write a novel, but I was so wrong. I had tons to learn and it was fantastic. My brain lit up like a fireworks finale. I could not get enough. That has since led to meeting incredible people and establishing myself as a member of a writing tribe here in Colorado where I feel really comfortable, really at home.
What do you find most fascinating about your writing process?
How the characters and the story come to life. Even though I have an outline(loose though it is), they decide where the story isn actually going. I’m surprised from one chapter to the next.
How has your education, profession or background helped you in your writing career?
Just about every job I’ve had demanded good writing skills, and as such I’ve been able to continuously improve upon my basic skills. And the marketing aspects of my different jobs have kept me thinking creatively.I also love the business training I’ve had, because I’m able to confidently wear two hats – both creative and business. Writing is not just about writing. Writers are also a small business and it’s so important to understand that. If you’re serious about having a career as an author, you must invest in your business from a time and “sweat equity” perspective, as well as from a monetary one. And you work hard. That’s true whether you’re traditionally or independently published.
Who has influenced you most in becoming an author?
This is a tough question, because I don’t think any one person influenced me to become a writer. I’ve always loved writing stories, and friends and family have often told me I should write more, but I never considered pursuing it “for real” until I was laid off a few years ago. I wasn’t excited about returning to a job similar to what I’d already had, and after a couple months of my less-than-enthusiastic approach to my job search, my career coach sussed out my writing bug. And that bug was buried deep—even I was surprised when the words “I want to write” cameout of my mouth. After that, I put it out into the world and told my family and friends that I wanted to do this, and not one person told me I was crazy. At least not to my face. I immersed myself into the writing and publishing world, and here I am with one novel and a novella complete, and more stories in the works. It gives me a huge thrill!
A bit premature, since your debut book will release in February, but I know authors are always thinking ahead! What is your next project?
You’re right! I am planning ahead. I have a novella being published in an anthology along with six other writers in March 2016.The theme is time, and the title is Tick Tock: Seven Tales of Time. I’ve already read some of the other stories to be included and it’s great stuff. I’m really happy to be part of this project. As for my series, I want to write two separate novels as “book two.” Simultaneous stories-one following Jason and his adventure with the League of Governors, and the other following Sadie’s story back home in Salton. The final chapter in both books brings them back together in Salton. It will probably kill me to get them both written and released together and in a timely fashion, but I’m really excited about the idea.
What I thought:
The Rampart Guards was an awesome book! I was actually not familiar with cryptozoology at all. This was my first time hearing about it. One of the things I actually love about this book is the backstory of the book. The idea came from an episode of a tv show that the author watched. I just thought that was so cool.
Wendy Terrien is, without a doubt, a talented writer. The writing, storyline, character development, all were impeccable.
And much to my delight, another fresh idea in the paranormal genre. I’ve definitely been on a paranormal kick lately and reading new ideas makes it even better.
Jason, the main character was a true protagonist and a relatable character.
I definitely enjoyed this, even though its targeted more for middle grade/young adult. I look forward to reading more from Wendy Terrien.
I give The Rampart Guards four stars.
Also thank you to Samantha Lien at Roger Charlie and the author, Wendy Terrien for providing me with a review copy of The Rampart Guards.